- A comparison of anti-trans arguments to anti-gay rhetoric at Fetch me my axe. Why all the stuff about trans issues? Because 1. I want it clear I do not believe that trans individuals or politics are a threat to feminism, and 2. those of us who are not anti-trans need to be vocally pro-trans.
- Nojojojo at the Angry Black Woman on POC on TV.
- Carnival against Sexual Violence 53, with links to posts on legal aspects, media, research, recovery, and other topics.
- Michelle Obama guest posts at BlogHer.
- Speaking of Obama…some dipshit produced shirts that said “Obama is my slave” is being sued by another dipshit who was surprised that black people were offended by it.
- On the lighter side, Pajiba finishes off a series on the greatest TV seasons of the last 20 years with Season 2 of The Office (US version).
Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category
I’ve been sifting through the Angry Black Woman’s archives, and I love her series on ‘Things You Need to Understand.’ It’s a collection of general principles about privilege in general and racism in particular. These general principles apply to any form of privilege.
1 - Racism
Racism = Prejudice + Power
By definition, Blacks and other minorities cannot be racist because they do not have insitutional, systemic power.
3 - Racism isn’t over - until the folks who experience it say so.
4 - White Privilege
White Privilege exists whether you know it, acknowledge it, or understand it.
Enough said, but she goes on to patiently explain and give examples. (Which is not her job as a woman of color, either).
I was all set to write a post for the Angry Black Woman’s carnival of allies, but the day slipped by me.
I could make all sorts of excuses as to why I didn’t write it in time. I was busy, I had an earwig burrowing into my brain, I was tired. Whatever.
I didn’t write about it because I don’t have to. One of the biggest privileges I have as a white person is that I don’t have to think about my privilege. I don’t have to think about it, and when I do, I get a cookie for even acknowledging that racism exists. (Note that said cookie usually comes from other white folks grappling to excuse themselves from their privilege, not from people of color.) I get lauded for saying that I have unearned privilege - general privilege as well as concrete, multiple, specific privileges.
Another symptom of privilege is that I don’t notice it until I compare it to male privilege. Although I know that, for example, women should be the ones defining what is and isn’t sexism, I get to mentally excuse racism as ‘not racist’ because it wasn’t intended that way, I don’t see it as racist, or the person complaining just needs to lighten up and take it as a joke.
Even when I don’t speak up and express those views, my silence speaks volumes. Sometimes I rationalize my silence with the fact that everyone already knows what I think, and they’re tired of hearing about it. Yet, me feeling slightly alienated at my (white) peers dismissing me and thinking that I’m still spouting off the same bullshit pales in comparison to the toll of being the subject of racism. No, really, it does.
That’s really the point. I can choose to call out racism or not, but the rewards of said calling out are generally huge in a liberal/progressive community. I win either way. A person who is subjected to racism and has to choose whether or not to call it out loses either way: either xie is going along with racist crap - and therefore agrees with the racist crap - or xie is angry and irrational for daring to call it out.
I ask that white folks call out their own privilege because of the continuing nature of said privilege, and all the ways they have benefited. I don’t care if your ancestors didn’t own slaves, or were Irish and were treated as not white, or whatever.
You still benefit from unearned privilege. Deal with it. Do something productive with it, rather than trying to defend the completely unjust benefit that you are getting.
You get to overhear a lot of conversations on the bus, and learn some pretty personal things about your fellow riders. While the overwrought tales of interpersonal drama can be irritating, more often they are entertaining. If only I did not have to overhear crap like a conversation concerning the election between two seemingly educated, seemingly intelligent, liberal young men, wherein I learned the following:
- Rudy Giuliani shouldn’t be president because he is bald.
- John McCain is too old to be president.
- Rudy Giuliani clearly has mob ties, as he is from New York and has an Italian name.
- Although they both agree with Hillary more than Obama, they will vote for Obama because he gives them the warm fuzzies, or something.
- Obama should do something more interesting with his hair, like get dreadlocks.
For the most part, these things are just asinine (although the thing about Obama’s hair is plain offensive); it makes me very sad, however, that these are the kinds of things people are discussing concerning the election. I am not sure if this is because these two young men were particularly dim-witted, or because the election really does not bring up anything of meaning - just campaign slogans and meaningless mud-slinging. I am sure that it is fucking depressing to hear shit like this.